The human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) has been associated with the development of Kaposi's sarcoma. A high incidence of classic Kaposi's sarcoma has been described in Sardinia, an island West of Italy's mainland. Different seroepidemiological analyses have reported that prevalence of HHV-8 infection varies worldwide: a high HHV-8 seroprevalence has been shown in Italy. The present survey was carried out to evaluate the correlation between HHV-8 infection and classic Kaposi's sarcoma incidence in northern Sardinia. Blood samples were collected from 226 healthy donors born and resident in five different areas of North Sardinia. Seroprevalence to HHV-8 was determined searching antibodies to viral lytic proteins by immunofluorescence in sera diluted at 1:10. Classic Kaposi's sarcoma incidence data spanning a period of 23 years were examined in the areas studied. The present screening revealed that seroprevalence was 35%, within a range of 15.346.3% in the five areas, although it should be considered that the seroprevalence to HHV-8 can be established more accurately by the combined use of different assays. Age emerged as an important risk factor. Indeed, subjects aged > 50 years showed a higher seroprevalence to HHV-8 as compared with younger individuals. A strong direct correlation between HHV-8 prevalence and classic Kaposi's sarcoma incidence has been also observed. The wide diffusion of HHV-8 in Sardinia appears to represent an important factor in the high incidence of classic Kaposi's sarcoma reported in the island. However, additional co-factors, such as age, sex, genetic traits, or viral strain pathogenicity, are likely to play a role in the development of the disease. (C) 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Direct correlation between human herpesvirus-8 seroprevalence and classic Kaposi's sarcoma incidence in northern Sardinia / Santarelli, Roberta; Roberto De, Marco; Maria Vittoria, Masala; Angeloni, Antonio; Uccini, Stefania; Roberta, Pacchiarotti; Maria Antonietta, Montesu; Rosanna, Satta; Decio, Cerimele; Faggioni, Alberto; Francesca, Cottoni. - In: JOURNAL OF MEDICAL VIROLOGY. - ISSN 0146-6615. - STAMPA. - 65:2(2001), pp. 368-372. [10.1002/jmv.2043]